Community Clinic

Medical Students Learn While Giving Back

Northwestern University’s medical school has a long history of community outreach. This photo, likely taken in the 1890s or 1900s, shows a scene from an ear and eye dispensary. “The medical school had quite a few dispensaries that provided medical care at no charge to those who couldn’t afford it; in turn, medical students received clinical training,” says Katie Lattal, special collections librarian at Northwestern’s Galter Health Sciences Library and Learning Center.

Today, Northwestern students volunteer at many community clinics, gaining experience providing care to the underserved and working with people who have diverse needs. In one student-run program, called Keep Your Heart Healthy, volunteers provide cardiovascular disease risk assessment and counseling to low-income, predominantly black and Hispanic residents of Chicago at community centers, churches and public schools.